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Planetary gearheads

Planetary gearheads for maximum torque

The planetary gearheads from FAULHABER are designed for maximum performance. They provide maximum torque with minimal volume. A wide range of reduction ratios enables the optimum transfer of motor power, suitable for your application.

Selection of FAULHABER Planetary Gearheads portfolio
Key Features
5.8 mm
Reduction ratio:
3 ... 23014
Continuous torque:
0.28 ... 1000 mNm
Available in all plastic or metal versions
Use of high performance plastic and ceramic materials
Available with a variety of shaft bearings including sintered, ceramic, and ball bearings
Modified versions for extended temperature and special environmental conditions are available
Custom modifications available

What is a planetary gearhead?

Gearheads transform the speed of the motor into the speed that is required in the application. The reduction – the conversion of a high speed to a lower speed – also increases the torque. The planetary gearhead is a special type of arrangement of the gears that are used to achieve this reduction.

The gears of a planetary gearhead are similar to a solar system. Multiple planetary gears rotate around the centrally mounted sun gear. These are enclosed on the outside by a ring gear that has its teeth on the inside and forms the outer limit of the planetary constellation. The size ratio of the wheels or, more specifically, their number of teeth determines the reduction ratio.

How do planetary gearheads work?

The output shaft of the motor is coupled to the first stage of the planetary gearhead and puts it into motion. The gearheads often have multiple stages: Seated on the ring gear is another sun gear that drives further planetary gears which then drive the next ring gear – and so on. This allows a very wide range of reduction ratios to be achieved.

The planetary gears always have two contact points, one for the sun gear and one for the ring gear. Sun gear and ring gear thus have as many contact points as there are planetary gears. Due to the large number of contact points, the load is uniformly distributed. This makes it possible to transfer especially high torques with a compact design.

How are FAULHABER planetary gearheads designed?

The output shaft of the suitable FAULHABER motor drives the sun gear of the first stage of the planetary gearhead. How many other stages follow is dependent on the desired reduction ratio. The spectrum here ranges from 1:3 to 1:7.

The planetary gearheads from FAULHABER are, in principle, designed to maximize the torque. The distribution of the load over numerous contact points makes them especially robust and long lasting. For the same reason, they are, in principle, ideally suited for intermittent operation. At the same time, they are especially efficient. They are suited for continuous, intermittent and alternating operation with frequent starting/stopping and load changes as well as for clockwise and counterclockwise rotation. Choosing the optimum gearhead allows smaller motors to be used, thereby increasing the economic efficiency of the entire drive.

Depending on the product series, the gears of the planetary gearheads are made of metal or plastic. Plastic gears are lighter, quieter and make cost-effective solutions possible. Metal gears can transfer larger forces and, when subjected to the same load, have a longer service life. They are also suited for vacuum applications and high temperatures. The two materials can also be combined. In this case, the motor-side input stage is equipped with gears made of plastic to keep the noise level down at high speed.

The lubrication of the gearhead is designed for its entire service life; relubrication is not necessary. Specific greases are available for various requirements, including special greases for especially demanding operating conditions such as extreme temperatures or vacuum.

Planetary gearheads from FAULHABER

Criteria for the selection of planetary gearheads

The basic parameters are:

  • Required output torque
  • Maximum input speed of the gearhead
  • Operating temperature
  • Size (max. length and diameter)
  • Protection classification

Furthermore, a number of additional criteria must generally also be taken into account, such as the weight, the noise development, the desired service life or the operating mode (intermittent or continuous operation). The shaft diameter, location and type of mounting points as well as the external conditions of use likewise play an important role. Humidity, dust, negative pressure or extreme temperatures may necessitate a certain degree of protection, suitability for use in a vacuum or particularly large temperature range.

Among the numerous product variants from FAULHABER, there is almost always a suitable gearhead that offers the optimal solution for your drive train. Like the motors, the planetary gearheads are also characterized by their especially compact design. They enable drive combinations with high torque, even in very constrained spaces.

You can enter all important requirement parameters in our Drive Calculator. After just a few clicks, the gearheads best suited to your application are displayed. We also offer our customers the bespoke manufacture of drives that are configured for a specific application, including optimized gearheads.

You can obtain additional information about the functionality of FAULHABER gearheads, the calculation of reduction ratios and the selection of the appropriate gearhead in our webinar "Best use of gearheads".

Let us guide you to your perfect drive solution.

Just fill out the form and click on “Start Drive Calculator”.

Choose gearhead or linear actuator series

Planetary gearhead or spur gearhead?

FAULHABER offers gearheads in two designs: spur gearheads and planetary gearheads. Which design offers the optimal solution is dependent on the application.

Planetary gearheads can transfer significantly higher torques than spur gearheads. If this is the primary criterion, these are always the first choice. They are also very compact and have an especially high torque/weight ratio.

Spur gearheads are characterized by their simple design and enable cost-effective solutions. They are ideal for applications with low torque and low speeds; they achieve a higher efficiency here. Their very smooth-running operation is another strength. Typical applications for spur gearheads are, e.g., the highly accurate positioning of optical components or the drive of door locking systems.

Typical applications for planetary gearheads

Planetary gearheads from FAULHABER are used anywhere installation space is limited and an especially high torque is required from the drive. There are also, among other things, applications in production and laboratory automation, packaging machines, industrial robots, measurement and testing equipment, semiconductor handling and exoskeletons.

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